My tastes, much like the pop culture world, is ever-changing. New things pop into my life and catch my fancy for a bit, then fade into my overcrowded and forgetful mind. So to me this column is more of a weekly time capsule, a look back at what I was liking, digging, musing about or hating on in different areas of pop culture, food, movies, music, TV, the web, this blog, fantasy football and whatever strikes me.
I hope to make this a weekly column, something you can look forward to early in the week and with the times there will be design changes. This one will remain bare bones for now and in the future I’ll spruce it up.
So here goes my first foray, enjoy…
[Note: The title is actually a reference to the wrestler Diamond Dallas Page, who often gave himself a “self high-five after winning a match. I figure since this was my own top five, that’d it work for the title.]
Movies: Alice in Wonderland Tim Burton is probably one of my all-time favorite directors. He’s a master at spinning wonderfully tender, funny and emotional pictures in a web of macabre
magnificence. When he chose to take on the Alice tale, I knew it’d be right up his alley…and it was.
Wonderfully wild and weird, Burton’s Alice is a sequel of sorts, dropping Alice back down the rabbit hole in her late teens/early 20s. Burton knows how to cast and direct strong females and does so brilliantly here, especially with Mia Wasikowska in the titular role. Excellent acting all-around, even from Johnny Depp as the Mad Hatter, which critics seemed to absolutely hate. Burton deftly interwove live action with CGI effects, keeping the air of fantasy as vibrant as the colors that appeared on screen.
Sadly, once the climax of the film had ended, the movie completely falls apart. All-too-quick wrapping up of loose ends, silly declarations and an incredibly awful dance sequence leaves you with a bitter taste, a complete let-down. Take this as a forewarning, because if you know a bad ending is coming, you can shrug it off and enjoy a very, very entertaining film. [Read Ann Hale’s review of Alice in Wonderland]
Music: “Crazy Horse” by Black Label Society
If I were to wander into Brooke Bates world and show some “Under the Radar Love” Black Label Society would be at the top of my list. Since 2002, Ozzy Osbourne’s guitarist and New Jersey native Zakk Wylde has been shredding his way into my heart with his band, Black Label Society. The band provides the best thunderous, whiskey drenched heavy metal in the past decade. With every album they keep getting better and I am completely stoked that in August, they will be releasing a new record. Why am I digging them? Because their new song “Crazy Horse” is one of the most badass pieces of howl at the moon, shred til your face melts off, machine gun fire heavy metal songs EVER.
Television: Steve Carrell is leaving The Office: Yes, sadly, one of TV’s most beloved characters, Michael Scott, will be no more after this season. Steve Carell, the brilliant comic actor, has decided to honor the final year of his contract.
It’s sad in some ways, Michael Scott was TV’s most lovable buffoon, a boss that was at times completely void of intellect
and at times the most loving character to ever grace the screen. Carrell took the character to heights and levels one didn’t expect. Michael Scott could’ve been the idiot for seven years and we would’ve enjoyed it. But the human touch and puppy dog emotion that Carrell brought to the character, especially in his story line with Holly (Amy Ryan) made this show special.
In my opinion this should be the last season for The Office. Since the Jim and Pam wedding, it seems as the shark has been jumped. More and more fans seem to be losing interest in the program and without it’s comedic heavyweight, it’s time to ride off into the sunset. You were the world’s greatest boss Michael.
Food: Tableside Guacamole Now for something completely different. Since 2007 I’ve had a bit of a culinary awakening, largely in part to meeting my fiancee Sue. I’ve become a lot more adventurous when it comes to dining these days; shying away from just having a burger when I go out to a restaurant. I’ve been trying all sorts of things and with my new obsession with food programs on TV (e.g. Top Chef, No Reservations), I’ve become somewhat of an amateur foodie. Within the past year I’ve fallen in love with guacamole. The best guac that I’ve come upon in that at Spicy Cantina on the boardwalk in Seaside Heights. Exec chef Jimmy Vena is one of the top chefs on the Shore and he’s created one of my favorite culinary gimmicks- tableside guacamole. I won’t embarrass myself explaining how this works, allow the maestro to do so…
The Web: It’s selfish, but the B&B is always on my mind. This blog is really important to me and we’re currently entering our 10th month in existence. With over 50,000 reads so far, it’s something I’m very proud of as is my co-founder Brent Johnson. So I’m pretty excited on the upcoming weeks on the site. We’ve got a major interview lined-up with former WWE champion, Mick Foley scheduled for this week. We’re also lining up interviews with 80s metal act Trixter, Chunk from the Goonies, classic rocker Southside Johnny as well as some other major musical headliners [I’m keeping the names off the record, since none of them are remotely confirmed]. I’m also hoping to get a few more guest bloggers, both old and new to return to the site, launch a new book review series as well as post things a little out of the ordinary.